International Child Care plays a leading role in the prevention and cure of tuberculosis (TB) through the national TB program in Haiti. In a country where one out of every eight children will not live to see their fifth birthday due to the contraction of a preventable disease, child inoculation is an utmost concern for the organization. In fact, the health and wholeness vision of ICC founders Jim and Virginia Snavely was inspired by the devastating plight of children with active TB. Grace Children's Hospital, founded in 1967, was dedicated to the care of tubercular children.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), TB kills more than one million people every year, 95% of whom are in low- and middle-income countries. To combat this statistic, WHO has set a goal of eliminating TB by the year 2050. According to a recent Medical Press article, the Stop TB Department at WHO has teamed up with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Together, they found that a vaccine given to adolescents and adults, as opposed to children, in low- and middle-income countries could have a much larger impact on the burden of TB worldwide and "is more likely to be cost-effective, even if the vaccine has low efficacy and short duration or carries a high price."
The current TB vaccine, bacille Calmette- Guérin (BCG), is commonly given to infants. However, given that TB cases and deaths remain "extremely high," researchers suggest that the disease can only be eliminated through the use of new vaccines.
ICC will continue to keep you updated on the development of the vaccine. To help ICC continue to prevent and treat TB in Haiti, please click this link.